ST. PETERSBURG (WDAE) -- They waited over two hours to make their first pick, but the Tampa Bay Rays welcomed the newest member of the organization Monday.
Tampa Bay used the 22nd overall pick in the 2019 First-Year Player Draft to select shortstop Greg Jones from UNC-Wilmington.
"Greg Jones is an excellent athlete. He's a middle of the diamond player," Rays director of scouting Rob metzler said. "He's someone we think has a really good chance to contribute on both sides, defensively and offensively. We're really excited to have him."
Jones, 21, was named the Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Year, finished second in the conference and led the Seahawks with a .341 batting average, and finished second in the conference with 76 hits. He led the CAA in triple (9), runs scored (70), walks (55), on base percentage (.491), and stolen bases (42). The nine triples and 42 stolen bases each tied the school's season record.
As for where the team projects him to play, Metzler says they will keep their options open.
"We think he's a high-quality shortstop," Metzler said. "We think he could play shortstop for quite an extended time of his career, [but] it's not out of the question that with his foot speed, he could be a high-quality center fielder."
Listen to Metzler's comments after the selection of Jones was made!
Check out some of Jones' raw athletic ability, including his high jump and standing broad jump.
And listen to Jones' comments after being selected in the first round by Tampa Bay.